Transgender Violence: A Never-Ending Fight

Graphic by Tejal Kawachi

Every year, we see an alarming trend of an increasing number of transgender murders. With racism and police brutality rising, the lives of trans and gender-diverse people are at even greater risk.

Transgender is an umbrella term that encompasses people whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at the time of birth. It is not bound to a particular sexual orientation. They may label themselves as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or asexual. More often than not, they decide to keep themselves from picking up any particular orientation. However, diversion from the standard norms has never been easily accepted by society or an individual for that matter. Taking this statement into consideration, it’s a known fact that the transgender community as a whole is at a higher risk of fatal violence and harassment at the hands of strangers, family, partners, and law enforcement.

The exact term to describe the degree to which individuals feel comfortable with their appearance and accept their true identity is transgender congruence. The transgender community has a hard time coming out of the closet. Circumstantially, they are often subjected to constant verbal assault by their family members. In the worst situations, they are thrown out in this cruel world by the same people who were entrusted with the responsibility of their safety and protection. In school, they are often harassed by their peers. Being mocked  for appearance and movement has become an everyday thing in their life. At times, we forget that these people are as normal as us. They have the right to live and cherish the gift of life just like us. However, this feeling is yet to sink in most of us. It’s a human tendency to disregard anything that doesn’t comply with the usual. This mentality that rules the masses has far-reaching consequences when it comes to the community and has seemingly led to a very dangerous atmosphere for the queers by far. 

Reasoning with the aforementioned points, few queer never come out of the closet. They hide their orientation for personal reasons and often sacrifice their lives in the process of keeping up with the reputations and societal norms. We never realize the power of words spoken. Words and actions, when used to attack, can cut deeper than a dagger. We often see cases of deteriorating mental health in students stemming from harsh words and playfulness of peers. In case of queers, the intensity of disrespect even more massive.  Henceforth, such repetitive traumatic experiences lead to a lot of psychological issues over time. Gender dysphoria is one such diagnostic label that is very prominently seen in this community. Sometimes, the richer segment decide to comply with the norms set by society by taking up medical assistance at times like hormone replacement therapy and sex reassignment surgery. Often, humongous pressure from society and family comes out as a reason behind these decisions. However, not everyone has the leverage to spend such a huge amount of money on these surgeries. Such people decide to accept what the world has to offer to them.

Talking about the world, if we mention cruel for the masses, it’s even crueler for the transgender people out there. One circumscribing check on the news around the world can easily point out how the anti-trans murder has been on a rise over the years. In the recent wave of black lives making news all around the globe, we also came across a news that stated how 90 percent of transgender people killed in recent times were Black by birth. Hence , we can label transgender violence as intersectional. The violence is intensified when it’s based on race, gender, class, and other factors. They are abducted, abused, and murdered by people. The world knows how minimally the transgender community is protected by law. This gives them the power to assault them as and when they feel like without the fear of law and forces. 

Workplace is another hell to conquer when it comes to this community. They are often harassed and targeted in these places, just for fun and amusement. We come across a lot of people who believe that the queers are weaker than us and do not deserve a position of power. They have this built-in mindset that the weaker segment is meant to be dominated by them. However, a lot of transgender men and women who were not accepted by their families have limited educational qualifications. The struggle to survive in this world often force them to take up informal jobs like sex worker. However, sex work is a criminalized segment and these people are often harassed and prosecuted by strangers without any strong action taken by the law.

In conclusion, we can say the transgender community is filled with individuals who have seen the worst life has to offer to anybody. They are the most ignored and unprotected segment of society right now. Thoreson once said, “Simply condemning violence after it happens is too little, too late.” True to this statement, if we start acting on impulse to stop the violence taking place right in front of our eyes, we can expect this world to change for the better. Transgender and cisgender individuals both have the same emotional and sentimental balance. Once society accepts this and starts working accordingly, the world will change into a better and more productive place to live for each one of us.

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